Monday, January 09, 2006

Safe arrival for Dan (so far...)

I am SO thankful for mobile phones. Not that I have one myself, but everyone else in the family does. They are excellent for brief, inexpensive communication (and in Cyprus they really are very inexpensive!)

Dan's sent four text messages to Richard's phone to let us know that all is well. He arrived at Frankfurt airport after a bit of a delay and managed to buy a ticket to the town he's staying in. It was a two-hour journey, with a change at Heidelburg. Unfortunately the first train was late, so by the time he reached Heidelburg, the connection had left. He got on the train he was told to board, and only discovered half an hour later that it was the wrong one! So he got off, found a train map, and managed to get himself back on the correct train. All this from someone who's hardly ever been on a train in his life (he's been on aeroplanes more frequently than on trains!) and who doesn't know much German at all despite valiant attempts to learn some in the past fortnight.

Anyway, he's now at the hostel where the conference is to be held, was in time for some food, and - we hope - will have a good night's sleep. Anyone wanting to keep up with Dan's travels can read his blog; he'll probably be able to update it himself while in Germany, although when he joins the Doulos (in just under four weeks) he'll have to rely on emailing me with his blog entries as there's no web access on board.

3 comments:

Lora said...

Glad to know that his travels are getting off to a good start. It looks like you've prepared him well for such unexpected adventures.

jj said...

It's a relief to know he got there nice and safe! Bad me, forgot to send him an email telling him to have a safe journey etc, but I was praying anyway and am glad he's safe.

I'm sure the time will fly by, although it might seem like it's crawling along sometimes! My original year has been narrowed down to 6 months, and I only have 7 or 8 weeks left... I'm sure my Mum is over the moon hehe

Leonid Mamchenkov said...

You might be interesting in something called Skype ( http://www.skype.com ). It is a program that you can download and install on your computer (free of charge) that'll allow you to communicate even cheaper.

With Skype you can chat with short text messages, which arrive immideately - very similar to ICQ/MSN/Yahoo! Messenger/etc. You can also talk using voice. You'll need to buy a headset (headphones with a microphone and a soundcard) though. But these are cheap. Soundcards go as cheap as 10 CYP and headsets are in a range of 5-15 CYP.

The talking part is very interesting. It is completely free of charge (you pay only for your Internet connection). It works very nice on slow lines (like dial-up or busy ADSL).

But the whole beauty of this all is that you can even call regular/mobile numbers from your computer at a much lower prices than Cyta offers.

Prices are here: http://www.skype.com/products/skypeout/rates/

And if you like that, you can go even further. You can get yourself a regular phone number from a number of countries (UK included) that will be forwarded to your Skype (computer) account.

This stuff is really amazing. I found out about it recently. Installed it on my computer and use it to talk all the time. I even bought a 10 EUR worth of SkypeOut minutes to talk to my family in Russia. It works very well. And cheap.

Oh, and another good thing is that you can also make conferences with as much as 4 people talking with voice and chatting with text messages at the same time.

P.S.: I almost made it sound like an advetising, didn't I? :)